Thursday, August 30, 2007

Extinct Dophin Back from the Dead?

This is being picked up everywhere. Scientific American, Reuters, New Scientist, and the New York Times. Everywhere. The UK’s Telegraph, the Melbourne Herald Sun and China Daily. Oh, everywhere. CNN, the Discovery Channel, and Forbes. Heck, I even brought it up here at Pound 360.

The Yangtze River dolphin (also know as the white-flag dolphin, the goddess of the Yangtze and sometimes just called Baiji for short), which scientists thought had been wiped out last year, has shown up in a scratchy home-video, apparently shot a few weeks ago. Hm... there’s a Bigfoot video too, but we all know that’s a hoax.

I’m not being sour on this because I was so passionate about this in my earlier posting. You may recall I thanked the people earth, especially China (TIME even referred to the dolphin as “a victim of China's breakneck economic growth”) for a flawless eradication (
look it up). But it turns out that we (humankind) (probably) couldn’t even get an extinction right.

But before I get into that. Let me point out that, when this extinction was first reported, I remember the story barely catching my eye. I read a lot of science and health news sources, and the extinction story didn’t seem too common. Maybe it trickled out and I was on vacation. I don’t know, but people seem more fascinated by a potential comeback.

But is this recovery for real? According to the new scientist report, one expert “says it is impossible to say for sure as the video is of poor quality and was shot from a great distance.” Also, the man who shot this film claims the creature was jumping out of the river. That’s a problem as, “Baiji do not jump out of the water,” said the same expert. Ah, but maybe this is a new species, a super-Baiji, if you will that can jump out of the water.

Something tells me this story is far from over.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.